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How to Fit a Car Seat on a Camel: And Other Misadventures Traveling with Kids Paperback – April 29, 2008

10 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Tales of travels begun with optimism and sometimes ending with vomiting, tears, or near- nervous breakdowns -- take your pick -- fill the new book "How to Fit a Car Seat on a Camel," edited by Sarah Franklin (Seal Press, $15.95). Frankin tells of her own naiveté about travel with kids in the book's introduction: "My husband and I were that cliché of the 30-something childless couple, traveling here, there and everywhere, with just a copy of The New Yorker and the latest iPod as accessories. Trips we made from our home in Seattle include Alaska, Hawaii, England, Wales, California, New York and the foothills of the Canadian Rockies." Franklin and hubby would look at each other and say: "We can still do all this with the baby, you know. Yeah, we were that cliché, too." Their travels -- crossing the Atlantic four times with baby, Jonah -- inspired the collection of stories. -- The Fresno Bee, May 12, 2008

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 298 pages
  • Publisher: Seal Press (April 29, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1580052428
  • ISBN-13: 978-1580052429
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 5.5 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,918,822 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Melissa Balmain's poetry collection, Walking in on People (Able Muse Press, 2014), was chosen by X.J. Kennedy as the winner of the 2013 Able Muse Book Award. She edits Light, the country's oldest journal of light verse, which she helped revive and bring online at www.lightpoetrymagazine.com.

As a journalist and humorist, she has traveled widely and written on subjects ranging from popular culture to parenthood, from cattle ranchers to collies that surf. Her memoir, Just Us: Adventures and Travels of a Mother and Daughter (Faber and Faber, 1998), is about the days when she was free to run off with her mother and mush sled dogs or hike with llamas--also known as the days before she and her husband became parents of two.

Balmain's poems and prose have appeared or are forthcoming in several anthologies, and in such publications as American Arts Quarterly, Ted Kooser's American Life in Poetry, McSweeney's, The New Yorker, The New York Times, Poetry Daily, The Spectator, The Washington Post, and Success, where she is a columnist. She has won national journalism honors and been a finalist for the Donald Justice Poetry Prize, the Howard Nemerov Sonnet Award, and the X.J. Kennedy Parody Award.

She teaches writing at the University of Rochester and lives nearby with her husband, their children, and two non-surfing cats.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Reader on June 18, 2008
Format: Paperback
Received this "How to Fit a Car Seat on a Camel" as a gift and practically wet myself reading the stories. Some were seriously hilarious, some were ew-w-w, some were really quite touching.

This is the perfect book to take along on a trip, when you want only short easy things to read. And, maybe, reading about someone else's misadventures will make whatever problems you're facing seem minor in comparison.

Anyway, I always think that books make great gifts and this one would be perfect for mothers of small children. After receiving and reading it, I bought another copy for a friend. She immediately bought another copy for another friend.

It's that kind of book.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By K. Harding on June 29, 2008
Format: Paperback
I loved this book - it made me realize that a woman can be a mother and STILL maintain her sense of humor. The situations these women find themselves in are sometimes unfortunate, always embarrasing and never planned. But they all manage to survive it with a chuckle or two to share with the rest of us. It gives me hope. Definitely required reading if you are like me and trying to read everything possible to prepare for motherhood.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Karen Smith on June 12, 2008
Format: Paperback
I used to read a story from this book as I lulled my little girl to sleep and more often than not I woke her up as my body couldn't contain the laughter from these stories.
As a new parent reading becomes difficult if not impossible and these stories are short and fun.
Waiting for a sequel of stories ..
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Merrie on June 27, 2008
Format: Paperback
Everyone has their traveling stories - the tales of hopeless airline snarls, getting lost with a little one and no time to spare on a road trip, or taking on the super-human effort of packing everyone in your family up for a vacation only to find out that the hotel never actually noted your reservation and doesn't, in fact, have a room for you. Those are the kinds of stories you'll laugh at in about five years. Or maybe ten.

With this delightful anthology, you get the laughs without the personal disasters and expense. How to Fit a Car Seat on a Camel is packed with stories that will ring true for anyone who has ever negotiated unfriendly traveling conditions, or companions. Have you ever found yourself playing Toddler Jukebox, non-stop, on a four hour roadtrip? Elrena Evans has, and informs you that you can sing "ABCB Spider" exactly 488 times. Ever found yourself identifying with Holly Korbey's husband when he suggested to his toddler that the reason behind the rain on the day of the Great Airplane Trip, two days before Christmas, was because God was laughing at Mommy so hard he was crying? The excellent essays include stories of all the travel extremes, from knotty airline travls during holidays to a week's vacation with three little ones to the beach, to a mommy-pilot taking her daughter on her first plane ride (as co-pilot, no less), to traveling Europe with a cranky teenager who refuses to speak English or pull out a map when lost - a sure givaway to the tourist status.

This book will give you a light dose of humor - and perspective, if you've been lucky enough to avoid such traveling misadventures. The best stories are the ones that everyone has experienced in some form or another, and this book won't disappoint.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By CU Buffalo on August 15, 2008
Format: Paperback
I adored this book and think it should be in the front pocket of all airplanes - right next to the in-flight magazine - or in the glove compartment of all rental cars. It certainly would give other parents traveling with children perspective on how bad (and funny) it can get!

This collection of short stories is wonderful for the parent-to-be or the mother who wants to laugh along with the authors as they retell their most embarrassing and hilarious tales of tot travel. Favorite essays include "Got Milk?" and "Splish, Splash, We're In First Class." I've given this to many friends for baby shower gifts and to my friends with kids and they've all loved the tales!
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